Title

The extent to which Connecticut elementary school principals are implementing best practices in the teacher induction process, as perceived by beginning teachers, mentors, and principals

Date of Completion

January 2003

Keywords

Education, Administration|Education, Elementary|Education, Teacher Training

Degree

Ph.D.

Abstract

An effective program for the induction and retention of beginning teachers is critical. The principal's role is essential to this process. The research of the past thirteen years has focused on the importance of the role of the principal in the induction of new teachers. Through a review of the literature, four critical aspects of the principal's role in successful induction programs emerged. ^ First, the principal must ensure that the beginning teacher be given a placement suitable for a successful beginning. Second, the principal must ensure that the teacher is placed with a compatible mentor and that the two have the time to work together effectively. A third critical aspect is the balancing of supervision and evaluation, and providing the new teacher with frequent and ongoing feedback. The fourth critical aspect is the constructivist role of the principal in the induction process. As the leader of the school community, the principal must set standards for high expectations for performance, model the vision and mission of the school, engage the new teacher in reflecting on the teaching and learning process, and facilitate the development and implementation of a comprehensive orientation program. ^ The purpose of the study was to determine the degree to which principals in Connecticut elementary schools are implementing best practices in the induction process by examining the perceptions of beginning teachers, mentors, and principals who are participating in the Beginning Educator Support and Training (BEST) program. A survey instrument was developed and administered to beginning teachers, mentors and principals in a sample of Connecticut elementary schools to assess the extent to which best practices in teacher induction were being implemented. The analysis was conducted using the four critical aspects of teacher induction process as identified in the literature. ^